Friday, January 22, 2016

Lt. Thomas Browne Powder Horn

I enjoy making near copies of historic horns, especially engraved ones from the French and Indian War periods.  They have been referred to as” history recorded on the horn of a cow”.  
However, this horn is not a copy although it does have many characteristics of historic horns. I made it after reading a detailed account of the siege and capture of Fortress Louisbourg, Nova Scotia from the French by the British in 1758. Lt. Thomas Brown (without and e) was in a long boat that found  an undefended point on the left flank of the French beach defenses. Once their left flank had been turned the French abandoned the beach allowing the British to land their forces and begin siege operations.
Lt. Brown was in the 35th Regiment of Foot. Officers were supposedly gentlemen, but what proper English gentleman would spell a surname Brown without an ”e” on the end? So I added it for him. The saying under his name was a common toast in the period. The display of flowers with an animal in it was copied from an F&I period horn that sold at auction a few years ago. On a horn with a coastal scene, like this, the fish could reflect that or be a symbol of Christian faith, or perhaps both. The GR with the entwined 2 stands for George Rex the Second, King of England at the time of Louisbourg’s capture. The ship, HMS Namur, was the flag ship of the British Fleet at Louisbourg and the plan of the fort was taken from an illustration in the book.
The architecture of the horn reflects the F&I period. The “lobes” with the two holes in them at the base end were common in the period, but much less seen by the time of the American Revolution. The engraving around the base end on the horn is taken from a John Bush horn from the “Lake George School” done in the F&I War. In my estimation John Bush did the best engraving of any horn worker in the F&I period. I use his designs frequently. The design of the spout end is mine but again influenced heavily by historic horns I have seen. The base and spout plugs are made of cherry.The disc in the base plug is horn with GR engraved.

Copy and photos supplied by John Proud.

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